What Should Be Done In the Wake of the French Terror Attack?

“The Proper Response to Today’s Tragic Events Should Be for EVERY Publication On The Planet To Print Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad”


We at Washington’s Blog have done as much as anyone to dispel the myth that all Muslims are terrorists. (Herehereherehereherehere, and here).

And we’ve written as much as anyone on the dangers of false flag terror: carrying out terror attacks and then falsely blaming in on your enemy.

We don’t yet have many facts on the horrific French terror attack which killed writers and cartoonists who satirized Islam.

However, our initial gut reaction is that every website in the world should run the new cartoon which the paper published yesterday which allegedly was the cause for the terror attack.

Paul Joseph Watson – a smart, prominent, alternative blogger who has written widely on false flag attacks, Western aggression and related topics – had the same reaction, writing:

The proper response to today’s tragic events should be for EVERY publication on the planet to print depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

(Islamic teachings forbid any depictions of Muhammad; and the publication against which today’s terror attack was launched had been firebombed 3 years ago when it printed a cartoon depicting Muhammad in a satirical manner.)

We don’t condone attacking an entire religion for the murderous acts of a crazed few.  We are also in favor of cultural sensitivity.

On the other hand, we are big believers in free speech and satire. As we’ve previously noted:

There is a well-known tradition thousands of years old – called “crazy wisdom” – which uses humor as a path for speaking truth and waking people up from their erroneous beliefs and their coma of sleepwalking. (Famous rock and roll dj Wes “Scoop” Nisker wrote a great book on the subject, which I strongly endorse).

We think there may be a way to harmonize these competing ideas.   Every website and traditional media publication in the world could satirize ISIS and the other extreme, murderous Islamic fundamentalists … while respecting – and pretty much leaving alone –  the overwhelming majority of Muslims who are peaceful and sane.

What do you think? Please let us know how you would approach this issue.

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Joe commented on Jan 7

    I feel strongly about it both ways….

    I like the idea… See Lenny Bruce and the N…r, N….r, N….r riff that Dustin Hoffman portrayed inna movie about Lenny. It’s just words on one level.
    Years ago, my former girl friend (now wife), wore a ” How dare you assume I’m straight” button as a way of supporting her gay friends on campus. I said, “Ya know, everybody’s gonna think it’s about you and not about what you want to say..” Duh….

    Righteous indeed…. and over subtle and gonna be taken the wrong way by exactly the people you least want it to be taken the wrong way by…

    Then again, that never stopped me…..

    “Scoop” was a newsman on KSAN back inna day. I always enjoyed his take on reality. It was a better reality back inna day.

  2. MidlifeNocrisis commented on Jan 8

    I don’t partake of any mythological dogma, of any flavor, so my first reaction would be yeah, more cartoons, everywhere.

    But it is important to remember (obviously not knowing those specifically involved) that many of these people are very poorly educated, if educated at all. An indoctrination of religion is likely the only teaching they have received in their entire lives. More infidel depictions of their prophet would likely just increase their feelings of persecution and self-righteousness. For these reasons I’m not sure that putting up pictures of muhammad would contribute anything positive to the situation, other than make some of us feel good for a few minutes.

    • victor commented on Jan 8

      “many of these people are very poorly educated”. Mohamed Atta: Cairo University, Technical University of Hamburg, American University in Cairo…

  3. Winchupuata commented on Jan 8

    Cultural sensitivity, ha… We’re experiencing a clash of civilizations and people are worried about offending other people that will feel offended at anything you say or do.

    Of course not all muslims are terrorists, of course the crazies are just a minority, etc., etc…. we all know that, but you read the comments made by several muslims on French sites about what happened yesterday and it makes your stomach turn and your blood boil… and these are the so called “moderates”. It is absolutely true that only a tiny fraction of muslims commit horrific crimes, but there are still large percentages of them living in Europe condoning what the terrorist minority is doing.

    I disagree with MidlifeNocrisis, the whole world should definitely print and post all and every muhammad picture in existence.

  4. ilsm commented on Jan 8

    So, Muslim extremists made Paris a free fire zone. For over 30 years the US has made the Muslim world a free fire zone.

    One difference is US has a standing military, feeding on perpetual war, a growth sector of its economy, big business, borrowing trillions of bucks it doesn’t raise from income taxes.

  5. Low Budget Dave commented on Jan 8

    An important point that is sometimes missed: When terrorists carry out attacks like this, they are trying to polarize society. They are trying to divide us.

    The various groups of Daesh (Arabic for ISIL or ISIS) have used this tactic very successfully in Iraq and Syria. By creating a culture of violence, they forced everyone to choose sides.

    Most Muslims in France oppose violence. They are disinterested in any conflict of culture, and they don’t see themselves as persecuted. They have never been forced to choose sides.

    The terrorists expect a backlash – they actually want a backlash. If they can create an atmosphere of fear and hostility, then they can recruit more followers. Terrorism simplifies every issue to “us-vs.-them”. Ordinary Muslims will feel persecuted, and will take this into account when choosing sides…

    We can’t prevent terrorism. But we can make it less effective.

  6. DeDude commented on Jan 8

    The purpose of terror acts is both to satisfy, and to whip up; tribal anger, hatred and animosity. A large number of Muslims are against violent acts (it is against their personal interpretation of the Koran), but at the same time they are offended by negative pictures of their prophet. Our primitive tribal instinct when attacked by extremist from the Muslim “tribe” is to lash out at Muslims (extremist or not). But that will simply play into the goals of the extremist Muslims; helping them turn more moderate Muslims into extremists. The appropriate response is to deliver night vision equipment and heavy weapons to the Kurdish and other moderate groups fighting with Muslim extremists in Syria and Iraq. The reason Kobani was almost overrun was that the local Kurds had only old rifles to defend against ISIS with tanks and artillery. Leave the borders open for all the extremists around the world to come to Syria and Iraq and fight for their Caliphate, then equip their enemies to rid the world of every single one of them.

  7. victor commented on Jan 8

    “Kurdish and other moderate groups fighting with Muslim extremists in Syria and Iraq”. Beware! In the Middle East “the enemy of your enemy is…..not necessarily your friend, it may well be still your enemy…

  8. pilastr commented on Jan 9

    and this…

    ” Of all the things that you should fear your government will lose the resolve to do, fighting Muslim terrorists should be at the absolute bottom of your list. There is no function that our government has performed more enthusiastically for years. Can any credible person doubt our commitment to fighting Muslim terrorists, in 2015?

    “Peter Beinart and Ross Douthat and Jon Chait and hundreds more will take the time in the week to come to beat their chests and declare themselves firmly committed to brave ideas like “murder is bad” and “free speech is good.” None of them, if pressed, would pretend that we are at risk of abandoning our commitment against murder or in favor of free speech.”

    “This is a liar’s conversation, we’re having right now. It’s built on a foundation of unreality. People debating it rail against an outcome that not one of them think is actually going to happen. And they do it for the same reason they always do it, to avoid talking about the rot underneath their feet. I have no time to debate the immorality of murder, and I see no one who disagrees with me on that immorality with whom I could debate. There are real questions that this lurching, violent country should ask itself, and won’t.”

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